Spy Ops Episode 6 ended with Israel and Palestine finally coming to terms and recognizing each other as independent states. Tensions had risen since the assassination of Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the last members of Black September to be neutralized by the Mossad. Thankfully, by the year 1993, both countries had seen better times. Spy Ops Episode 7 is about how rebuilding Afghanistan was a crucial task for the CIA. This episode can very well be treated as an extension of the first episode, Operation Jawbreaker.
What Happened After Taliban’s Fall?
Spy Ops Episode 7 begins with many experts coming forward to talk about how Afghanistan was completely ruined by the Taliban. They managed to leave Afghanistan centuries behind because they followed medieval laws, which have no place in the current century. The members who joined and were trained by the Taliban were completely brainwashed to follow a set of rules without questioning their validity. But since they are now out of power post-2001, underestimating them will be a mistake. As an expert states, they are like the Trojan horse, who would sneak in when everyone was sleeping. The example was apt because, flash forward to 2021, and the Taliban took over the nation all over again.
Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, ushered the state into the modern world, but it required a lot of financial aid from the United States of America to rebuild the nation from scratch. An estimated 38 billion dollars were spent to make sure Afghanistan transitioned into an inclusive society where men and women are treated equally. It is implied that Afghanistan has the potential to become a flourishing developing nation that can compete with international standards when it comes to economic and social development. The Taliban leaving the country brought a sense of relief to many, especially the women, who could now educate themselves and seek job opportunities. But a lot of reconditioning had to be done to understand what went wrong and prevent it from being repeated.
What Was The CIA’s Work?
2003 marked the beginning of the Iraq war waged by the Americans and their allies, who claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We were all witnesses to this announcement and the subsequent war, which triggered a chain of events that led to an increase in Al-Qaeda recruitment by Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, followed by the radicalization caused by rampant Islamophobia.
In the year 2005–06, CIA Case Officer Gary Harrington took on the onus of developing the skill development capabilities to fight against rising resistance from the Taliban that was slowly entering from the Pakistan–Afghanistan border towns. America opened many bases all around the country, which gave the locals some hope of being rescued in case Taliban insurgents created trouble. It seems the United States of America has a white savior complex where they feel the need to come forward and help after causing much destruction. Though the Afghanistan war drove the Taliban away, one cannot forget that the air raids did cause some irreparable damage. With the war in Iraq also escalating, many of the Muslims were perhaps not happy with the way things unfolded. Despite all this, the CIA did everything in its power to help control the government, aid in enhancing counter-terrorist activities, and provide financial rewards for interpreters.
One of the speakers in Spy Ops Episode 7 is Rasul Rasekh, who was previously a fighter with the Taliban. He later starts working as an independent contractor for the CIA and joins Gary as a translator, which could help him interact with local tribes. Rasul helped Gary understand the local culture and interact with it without offending anyone. Gary seemed like the person who would want to see the changes he talked about.
What Is The Taliban’s Purpose?
Gary and Rasul speak in detail about how they barely escaped a suicide bombing in Kabul. This was just the beginning of Taliban insurgents creating havoc in the country. This could be a sign that they have not given up.
The speakers in Spy Ops Episode 7 explain why the Taliban emerged in the first place. The Taliban sprung up from the ashes as the residue of the Afghan civil war. The brutality of the civil war and corrupt warlords led to people gravitating towards the Taliban, which presented its ideology as a pure version of Islam. But sadly, their brutal interpretation of their holy book made things worse in the country, and it started festering like a wound.
The Taliban fighters who entered Pakistan after 2001 were brainwashed into killing themselves, which is technically against the doctrines of Islam. Committing suicide is haram in the Muslim faith, but the Taliban were willing to go beyond it and justify their actions. The insurgency in Iraq also contributed to making them realize how potent suicide bombing was. There was rampant use of IEDs, suicide vests, and vehicle-borne IEDs that could target a large crowd at a time. We believe the Taliban was getting out of hand at that point, and the CIA realized that if not controlled, they would take over Afghanistan in no time. Sadly, the last part came true.
The bombings in Afghanistan got worse over time. Kids as young as seven were kidnapped from remote regions and brainwashed into carrying out terrorist acts. They were given money and allowed to dabble in vices because their act of suicide would deem them martyrs, and they would head to heaven. The Taliban recruited kids from the refugee camps and gave them a sense of purpose by making them commit suicide in God’s name.
What Are The USA And CIA Planning To Do?
The United States of America and the CIA offer the people of Afghanistan a new life and a way out. The CIA recruits young blood into the Afghan intelligence service, which aids in patching up with the tribals from the remote regions. General Abdul Rahim Wardak is brought into the picture, and the Afghan army is given training to tackle the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
General Fahim gets Gary in touch with Mullah Haimi, who sent Taliban fighters to Afghanistan in the hope of reconditioning and reintroducing them into society by working on their skills as fighters. Gary gives them an offer to cooperate if they put down their arms, and the CIA will find ways to work with them. This seems like a generous offer for the men to rediscover and give up the life of arms and brainwashing. It is risky to trust the Taliban fighters in case they turn out to be double agents. The CIA had to take the gamble because they would want these Taliban defectors on their side to understand the maneuvers used by their ex-recruiters.
The CIA asked the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan to accommodate the 29 Taliban defectors, which was a huge task. After a thorough interrogation by General Fahim, only six were recruited, and the rest were unfortunately sent back, but with some money. Gary made them take a vow not to take up arms against the Americans. The six of them had skills from working in different departments, which would help the force form a strong team that could tackle the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
The CIA only wanted to educate the ex-Taliban members and get in touch with other brainwashed members to understand how their minds work. The defectors are a good addition to the intelligence and the anti-Taliban cell to get a bigger picture of the terrorist outfits.
Gary posed as a Canadian journalist who sympathizes with the Taliban cause and interviewed young Taliban fighters. These youngsters turned out to be timid and had a different outlook on what Westerners are. This is to understand the kind of brainwashing that is done to convert these kids into militant zombies. Meanwhile, the Taliban fighters who were recruited to work for Afghan intelligence realized that people like Gary were here to help and not ruin their lives, as told to them.
Spy Ops Episode 7 ends with Gary having enough credibility to help people believe that these ex-Taliban fighters are clean. He also offered 650 dollars and housing so that they wouldn’t become suicide bombers. He accomplished a mission that benefited the people more than Gary himself. Rasul also came back to Afghanistan to work with Ahmad Massoud, the son of the martyred Ahmad Shah Massoud, to help him form a resistance party and gather support. Rasul said quite openly that Pakistan wants Afghanistan to be the number one terrorist state in the world, but the locals do not want that at any cost. Spy Ops Episode 7 openly questions what the Pakistani government and their intelligence agency gain from turning Afghanistan into a war-torn zone again. The politics of this region are ambiguous, and saying too much will stir up controversy.